Sunday, November 01, 2020

Private flying may reach a new high amid Covid-19

When air travel in India effectively stopped in March, private jet operators feared the worst, believing the pandemic would decimate their businesses. On the contrary, however, many have held up surprisingly well. Delhi-based entrepreneur Kanika Tekriwal, who runs JetSetGo Aviation, a private plane aggregator business, has seen a spike in queries since flying resumed. “Now, we get approximately 20 queries a day… out of these, over 70% are new customers. In March, we saw a nine-fold increase in demand just before the lockdown was announced, but were able to fulfill only 50% of the requests mainly because the regulations kept changing overnight in countries. During the lockdown, which was being implemented in various parts of the world, we received 10-12 requests a day to bring people stuck in various parts of the world back home,” says Tekriwal, the CEO and founder of JetSetGo Aviation.

Similarly, Santosh K Sharma, co-founder and CEO, Foresee Aviation, a professional private jet and helicopter aggregator, witnessed 30-40 queries per day both in the domestic, as well as the international sector, and is hopeful this number will eventually rise. “Guests flying private for the first time would realise the importance of safe and customised travel. Speedy, efficient, flexible aviation comes to the fore in these unprecedented times. The ability to fly anywhere at a moment’s notice and get home quickly is proving invaluable,” says Sharma, who is also the founder of the soon-to-be-launched app Book My Jet for private booking.

Charters give one the option to fly at one’s convenience, skip layovers and reach one’s destination directly, saving a lot of time. Add to it personalised VIP service, onboard social distancing, hassle-free security check and the scenario becomes extremely appealing. “The various touch points throughout the journey reduce, making private flying favourable. For instance, commercial fliers have over 200 touch points at the airport, while private jets have as little as 30. Hence, the preference,” explains Tekriwal.

01/11/20 Vaishali Dar/Financial Express

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